Mental Health Minister Nadine Dorries said some families “enjoyed the lockdown”.
When asked how the pandemic affected waiting times at mental health services for children and adolescents, she told the MPs’ health committee: “We had an absolute drop in referrals during the pandemic, which is really not surprising, children were not in of school, teachers did not relate.
“I know that the outlook for the pandemic and the mental health implications if you read the media are all doom and gloom.
“In fact, some people, especially families, have reported improvements in mental health and well-being.
“Some people surprisingly enjoyed the lockdown with their kids for a year, so it wasn’t all doom and gloom.”
Ms. Dorries told the Health and Welfare Committee: “It has been a difficult year for everyone, and it has been a particularly difficult year for children and people who have not gone to school, whose routines have been disrupted, who have been separated from their friends, from theirs social life, from normal everyday life that makes children and young people happy.
“We saw, especially at the beginning of the lockdown, children and teenagers reporting bad mood, anxiety, and poor mental health, and I want to talk about that terminology.
“Actually, these young people were incredibly resilient, and we’ve seen young people say in the first week, ‘I’m worried, I’m worried, and I’m worried and afraid,’ who have brought their own resilience to the other side.
“Rather than refer to a generation as a generation that has and is suffering from mental health problems, I think we really need to acknowledge that we have a very strong, resilient generation that we should be incredibly proud of and that will survive the lockdown.” , and some of the main issues we saw when they went back to school when they got out of lockdown it was a new hiring.
Ms. Dorries said that people need to be careful about the language they use when talking about young people.
She told the Health and Welfare Committee, “I think we have to be very careful with the language we use with children and adolescents and unfortunately I have seen an unfortunate language being used and I am starting to feel the backlash from that from stakeholders, sectors, mental health foundations, because what we can’t do is put the mental health label around everyone’s neck because it just isn’t.
“Besides, nobody talks about mental illness. That really concerns me, because bipolar in teenagers and adolescents and adults, schizophrenia, severe personality disorder, psychosis … they are delivery, our inpatient units, and they are the life work that our doctors and nurses and psychiatrists work with, that is the elixir of life the NHS mental health care if you wish.
“We’re not talking about mental illness here. What we’re talking about instead is this general, overarching concept of mental health. “
Ms. Dorries told the Health and Welfare Committee that the government was “catching up” on mental health.
The Mental Health Minister was asked what is preventing the government from deploying mental health teams faster in all schools.
The aim is to reach 35% of the students by 2023.
She said, “Because it’s not just school mental health support teams that we need to invest our £ 2.3 billion in.
“As I just mentioned, mental illness is an important part of our mental health funding and we need to make sure that all mental health areas are funded.
“But you know what I would say is that historically before 2016 there was a huge treatment gap and an underfunding problem.
“People were not trained, there was no treatment option because there was no treatment before. We’re playing catching up fast and with £ 2.3 billion a year plus £ 500 million plus the new £ 40 million announced this morning we’re pumping the money in.
“I have no barrier when applying for mental health money from the Treasury Department. This is a problem that the government wants to solve.
“It’s one case that we need the people to do the services – that’s happening now, it’s a work in progress now.”
Ms. Dorries said the demand for eating disorder services increased significantly during the pandemic.
She told the Health Select Committee of MPs that eating disorders had been “the biggest problem” lately, adding, “We’ve seen eating disorders demand and service demand increase 22% over the past 11 months.
“Eating disorders were on the rise, we saw the upswing before the pandemic started.
“It’s a very complex topic. It surrounds a lot of things like body image, social media, but the lockdown brought special pressures and strains to the young women who had been hiding, dealing with eating disorders, living with eating disorders, and it came to a crisis point during lockdown .
“Dealing with it, the impact on other services, was a priority, it was a huge demand.”
Ms. Dorries also commended the NHS England for setting up fast access services in the community.
In the UK, a total of 153,630 deaths have now occurred in which Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, the ONS said.
The highest number of deaths in a single day was 1,481 on January 19.
During the first wave of the virus, the daily death toll peaked on April 8, 2020 with 1,461 deaths.